Saturday, January 19, 2013

More on Videos

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video on YouTube about Scrapbook, the story I've been serializing on this blog.  The video was my third. It showed a short clip of flying griffins. (Of course, the clip was a total fabrication on my part—as is Scrapbook with all of its bogus newspaper articles, faux postage stamps, and photoshoped pictures.) Here is a link to that video, if you haven't seen it:

Making videos, learning how to manipulate the programs has pretty much consumed all of my time for the past several months. I find, as I have said previously, that making videos is a lot like writing and illustrating a children's book. 

There are, differences, to be sure. Most notably is the frustration of working with programs that promise to be glitch-free but wind up being riddled with annoyances. Adobe Photoshop lets you make videos but puts up a few roadblocks. Without going into the jargon of video animation (I'll save this for a later post—perhaps), Photoshop makes it difficult to manipulate the timeline and the creation of frames. What is more, Photoshop requires a new layer for almost every new frame. Before long, you have a list of layers that gets quite confusing quite fast. 

Another program, Anime Studio Pro, tries to solve some of these problems and even allows you to work in tandem with Photoshop. It is a fairly cheap program (about $150 on Amazon), but, unfortunately, you pay for what you get. The program does not always yield predictable results such as legs you've painstakingly drawn flying off into space or bulging hideously as you play back the animation. (Actually, I did laugh a lot at my own mistakes.)

Two other programs Toon Boom and TV Paint are both very expensive. Toon Boom doesn't offer much in the way of manipulating text, but seems to be a powerful program. TV Paint seems to be the best, but it is from France with a Gallic twist to the features its offers that makes learning the program, eh bien, presque impossible!

For now, I am sticking with Photoshop. When I have learned enough about timing, drawing all of the in between poses required to animate a figure, I might consider spending the money and diving into the French world of computer animation.

Below is Chapter Six of Scrapbook. Just click on the images to enlarge. The serializing began on the September 30th blog.